Some 22% of U.S. grant-making foundations compensate their board members, an activity that’s legal within certain strict parameters, according to new data from The Council on Foundations.
The council’s 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits survey of more than 1,000 community, corporate, private, operating and public foundations found that these organizations paid a median $71,438 for all board members.
Among foundations that paid board members, compensation ranged from a median $209,500 for grant makers with between $1 billion and $2 billion in assets to a median $7,500 for those with less than $5 million in assets.
About 61% of organizations that compensated board members paid both the chair and others on the board, 34% paid only board members and 5% only the board chair.
Following are median compensation levels by types of grant-making foundations:
- Public foundations: $198,100
- Independent foundations: $86,125
- Operating foundations: $69,775
- Family foundations: $35,750
- Corporate foundations: $26,925
Community foundations and those characterized as “other” did not compensate board members.
The survey found that foundations in the West were most generous to board members, paying a median $109,000, followed by those in the South, $84,500; the Midwest, $72,500; and the Northeast, $45,000.